Wage loss, or disability benefits, and medical care benefits are standard in Nebraska and Iowa workers’ compensation claims. However, insurance carriers want to save money and are not forthcoming in letting one know about all available benefits.
Attendant care is one of those benefits. The insurance company must pay for the cost of attendant care from a nurse or other skilled individual to help with activities of daily living. Some examples are assistance with mobility, bathing, using the bathroom, eating, dressing, and taking medications.
Your family members can also be compensated for these same duties in providing attendant care. A family member is generally entitled to the same hourly rate as a professional and should be paid accordingly.
The first and most important part of this is to have the doctor determine the medical necessity of the care. Then it must be determined what type of attendant care is needed and the time frame for it.
Here’s how to protect yourself. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the problems you are having at home. Ask for a prescription for attendant care so you can get assistance from a qualified professional or from your family.
An experienced workers’ comp attorney can discuss all of your options and ensure you receive the full value of benefits and compensation available to injured workers.
Examples in Nebraska case law:
Modifications to an injured worker’s home given that two physicians recommended the changed to allow the worker to function better while he recuperated from surgery, and the modifications relieved the pain caused by his loss of independence to enter and function in his own home. Miller v. EMC INS Co 259 Neb 433 (2000).
Employer is responsible for making his home handicapped accessible. Koterzina v. Copple Chevrolet 1 Neb App 1000 (1993).
The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court may allow an employee to recover the reasonable value of necessary home nursing care furnished by the employee’s spouse. Kidd v. Winchell’s Donut House 287 Neb 176 (1991).
More specifically, ordinary, noncompensable housekeeping tasks include cleaning, preparation of meals and washing and mending clothes. Compensable tasks include serving meals in bed, bathing and dressing, administering medications and assisting with sanitary functions. Quinn v. Archbishop Bergan Mercy Hospital 232 Neb 92 (1989).